On Saturday I took part in our grid jump schooling clinic. I love these little clinics. It’s fun and laid back and we all learn lots. This particular grid was a one stride to three bounces followed by a one stride. The most difficult aspect was the corner leading to the grid. Sarah had put up some very narrow cones that we had to stay between. If we knocked over a cone we owed her a dollar. As someone for whom every dollar counts, I was determined not to knock any down. (But still managed to knock over 3.)
Our first time approaching the grid, I could feel Georgie suck back, but I knew we needed to go forward so I put my leg on, and she went forward, getting us a good distance to the jump. I heard Sarah yell “Good eye!” This is huge for me, as I imagine it is for any rider who struggles to see their distances. I am in that awkward phase where I can tell if we are going to have a good or bad distance, but I don’t typically do anything about it. This time I actually did something about it AND Georgie responded, which meant I was using my leg correctly! Yay!!! It’s a brand new day. Or something. I think Denny Emerson would have been proud. Now, I need to be able to count backwards the strides I have to a fence like he does. Baby steps, baby steps.
The second best part was when Sarah changed the grid by angling the bounce jumps. She mentioned that our horses may look at the jump and perhaps spook or be hesitant, and that we need to just keep our leg on and press on. My first thought was that I wasn’t worried about Georgie. I knew she would safely get over the jumps and not make any stupid decisions. In other words, I trust my horse. This was a huge moment for me. I know that Georgie may run out or refuse in the future, there are never any guarantees, but I trust her, and I feel safe on her. I don’t know that very many riders feel this way completely. It was such a great feeling, and I feel very connected to her, for which I am very thankful and lucky.
Here’s a video of us through the grid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lU3Fi01omM&list=UUbKQZMzXjr_YLOKcN50tF3g
There were some bad parts of the day. Like when I had to stop because my back hurt so much. But Sarah hopped on her and mentioned how much she likes jumping her. She’s just a great horse, I must say. She has her moments of brattiness, and sassiness, but I guess I do too, so all is forgiven…
I’m in denial about my back, but not so much that I haven’t gone back to the doctor. I have an MRI scheduled as none of the pain meds I’m on help any, and it seems to be getting worse again, rather than better. I’ll continue to be in denial because I can’t imagine not riding, or working towards the Rebecca 3 Day this summer. So, I’ll keep you posted. But I’ll also try and avoid the subject where I can.
Nadia and Georgie